Monday, May 21, 2007

Oh yes, it is Monday and this post is way off topic

But I couldn't help myself. I just had to share with everybody one of the most disgusting experiences I have ever had. What follows is an e-mail I wrote to my fellow staff this afternoon:

May 21, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO – Early Monday morning, NBTF staff members Nealika Caden and Sarah Trejo remarked on an unusual smell emitting from the refrigerator. Opening the door, Trejo noticed nothing different about the usually-packed shelves of the staff refrigerator that sat in the enclosed kitchen.

Upon returning later that day at 1:00 p.m., Trejo noticed the smell again and made a decision to investigate. What started as a routine inspection turned out to be a full-on excavation of the NBTF refrigerator. After removing several bags and closed containers, Trejo discovered a number of items as possible contributions to the rancid smell that had been emitting from the fridge.

Artifacts pulled from the depths of the fridge included:

-Several bags of frozen old carrots
-Zachary’s pizza, estimated to be aged at least 1-2 weeks
-Contents in a Styrofoam container that appeared to be leftovers from a previous meal, however, the consumption date was clearly past due based on the color of the food, in addition to the smell that then caused the usually strong-stomached Trejo to gag.
-Grapes that had begun the aging process – may have hinted that a winemaker among the staff had inadvertently placed their grapes in the fridge instead of a barrel to be aged
-A cracked egg whose contents had hardened and would be considered by most to be ‘rotten.’
-A plastic container whose contents, after close inspection, appeared to be a square of lasagna, however this remains unverified due to the fact that a dark green-blue layer had formed over half the square, rendering it unable to be completely identified. The contents were disposed along with the container.
-A blue lunch bag was removed and upon opening, a new discovery was made about the aging process of strawberries left over time in a closed, cool place. A white film had developed over all the fruit, and a brown liquid became apparent when the bag was opened.
-Several containers of cream cheese that were well past their due date (staff should be informed of the fact that while many cheeses are aged, cream cheese is not one of them).
-One rotting tomato whose skin had become wrinkled and soft.
-One plate of unwrapped butter.

Trejo, disgusted and in the interest of safety for all NBTF staff, immediately ‘chucked’ all items that had clearly been forgotten and were no longer suitable for human consumption.

“I have to admit, it was pretty nasty, and while I don’t gag at a lot of things, the food in the Styrofoam really got to me. Still, it was oddly intriguing to see this food aging process that I’ve never really seen before – certainly not in my own fridge,” Trejo remarked.

No other employees were available for comment, though this discovery is sure to inspire discussion about new policies to implement regarding refrigerator use.


Okay, so I tried to be funny about all of this, and I am definitely one to have a sense of humor – hence my taking the time to write all of that. HOWEVER – that was seriously one of the most DISGUSTING things I have ever seen, and not even in COLLEGE did my fridge ever look like that.

BUT since I am not one to merely complain, I will also offer a suggestion:

I am going to get some stickers and a pen to be placed in the kitchen. If you are placing items in the fridge, please use them to mark the date and your initials. At the end of the week, older items will be cleared out. This will happen on an ongoing basis.

If you have any better ideas, please let me know.


I was proud of myself for using humor instead of nag to convey my disgust and irk. I just don't get how people leave that much stuff in the fridge - ESPECIALLY WHEN IT'S A COMMUNAL FRIDGE! Ugh. But my ingenuity seemed to pay off in the short-term - people actually responded with enthusiasm and gratitude to my e-mail. Let's see how well it works over the long term...

My enlightened state must have something to do with my bike ride yesterday, which was truly one of the hardest and most amazing bike rides I have *ever* had. 66 miles, 5 of them dirt, 3500 feet of climbing, and some of the most gorgeous views of Sonoma County and the Pacific Coastal region that I have ever had the pleasure of taking in. I've also never had to dig so deep in all my life. More on that later. (how about that? I DID get back to the main subject of this blog!)


Alisa said...

You did handle the 'frige incident very well. At my old work Everything was thrown out every Friday. I hope your label idea works.

Can't wait to hear about the Sonoma bike ride!

Cristi said...

Funny fridge story!
Your Sonoma ride sounds awesome in the dig till the puke reflex kind of way.

Kaisen L said...

wow, I thought I was reading a news article for the first paragraph. The rule here is you have to label your stuff (or risk it being thrown out) and all stuff labeled or not would be thrown out after a week.

Carla said...

Sadly I had a recent experience like that except that it was the frige at my house. Some roommates were leaving a bit of a mess... Ugh.